Witness Testifies to Green’s Behavior, Suspecting She Had Postpartum Depression

YoloCourt-26By Raya Mzahdeh

The People v. Samantha Green trial reconvened on the afternoon of September 9, 2016, in Department 14, Judge David Rosenberg presiding. Ms. Green is being charged with the second-degree murder of her infant son, Justice Rees. Public Defender Tracie Olson is representing Ms. Green, and Deputy DAs Ryan Couzens and Robert Gorman are representing the prosecution.

The hearing began with a recalled witness, Detective Dean Nyland, who continued giving his testimony. He stated that during his March 30, 2015, interview with Frank Rees, Green’s boyfriend and father of the baby, Rees was vague about his drug use at first. He later admitted that he and Green had smoked methamphetamine together the week before she and Baby Justice went missing. He also admitted to administering to her a “butt shot” of about a fourth of a gram of methamphetamine on the morning of February 23, 2015.

The next witness that was recalled to give further testimony was Detective Polay, who interviewed Franks Rees at the Woodland Memorial Hospital on February 24, 2015. During the interview, Mr. Rees described Ms. Green’s behavior as “erratic” when he was with her earlier the same day that she arrived in Knights Landing to look for him. He claimed that she was “trippin’,” and that he suspected she had been going through postpartum depression. In addition, Rees’ information indicated that Green’s motivation for going out to Knights Landing was to find him with the woman she suspected he had been cheating on her with, known as “MC.”

The third witness to take the stand as a recalled witness was Detective Mike Glaser, who investigated the death of Baby Justice. Det. Glaser spoke to “CF,” a friend of Ms. Green and Mr. Rees, who had been at the Rees residence on February 23, 2015. Det. Glaser stated that there had been allegations that CF was down at the slough in Knights Landing where Ms. Green and Baby Justice had been.

Furthermore, CF confirmed to Det. Glaser that he and his girlfriend, “SR,” were at the Rees residence around noon on February 23. CF stated that Green had been acting “strange.” He elaborated that it surprised him when Green did not offer to give him a ride to where he and SR were headed after stopping by at the Rees residence. During Det. Glaser’s interview with SR, it was confirmed that CF had been with SR all day after leaving the Rees residence. SR also stated that Ms. Green’s behavior was “strange” on the afternoon that she and CF interacted with her at the Rees residence.

On February 27, 2015, Det. Glaser went to the Rees household and picked up Ms. Green to transport her to the police station for an interview. He sat with Green for about two hours, while they waited for Rees’ interview to end. During her interview, Green admitted that she took one “butt shot” on the Friday night before she went missing, two on Saturday, and one more sometime between Sunday and Monday. She also took six hits of methamphetamine via a pipe.

The witness who followed was Dr. Michael Wu of the Woodland Memorial Hospital. On February 25, 2015, Dr. Wu examined and discharged Ms. Green after she had already been admitted to the emergency room. His discharge papers indicated that Green was diagnosed with methamphetamine intoxication, dehydration, rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle tissue), and cervical strain (neck muscle strain.)

The final witness to give her testimony was Crime Scene Investigator Stephanie Gill of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office. CSI Gill stated that, on February 25, 2015, she and another investigator analyzed footprints at the scene where Ms. Green and Baby Justice were in Knights Landing. She and the other investigator concluded that whoever made the footprints was not wearing shoes, but was also not completely barefoot. Based on the appearance of the footprint and the patterns they observed, the investigators determined that there was some type of cloth or other material involved while the footprints were made.

After several witness testimonies, Judge Rosenberg declared the trial would resume on Monday, September 12, at 10 AM in Department 14.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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  1. Tia Will

    Mr. Rees described Ms. Green’s behavior as “erratic” when he was with her earlier the same day that she arrived to Knights Landing to look for him. He claimed that she was “trippin’,” and that he suspected she had been going through post-partum depression.”

    Despite 30 years of seeing cases of neglect and abuse, I still can be amazed at the different expectations that we as a society have for parental behavior. Here we have the case of a man who has admitted that on the same day, he administered meth to his infant’s mother, was aware that her behavior was “erratic” and that she was “trippin” and suspected that she was suffering from post partum depression. And yet he leaves her in sole charge of the infant and his other children, not to go to work, or because he has jury duty or a meeting with his parole officer, but to go do drugs and have sex with another woman. At the time these events occurred, he was aware that he was a critical part of a safety plan for the infant which had been established with a social service worker prior to the baby’s discharge home.

    A death resulted from this chain of events some of which were illegal activities. Now you all know that I am no lawyer, but where are the charges against Mr. Rees ?  David has previously listed some, but amongst them I do not see child endangerment. I do not see “murder” even though Mr. Rees has stated he was aware of Ms. Green’s lack of rational behavior and still engaged in “malicious” ( going off to have sex with another woman) and illegal behavior which resulted in a death. We see many cases in which participants in a crime are charged as equals even if only one of them pulled the trigger. Here we see equal participants in illegal drug use with only one being charged for the tragic outcome.

    I fully believe that much of the decision making with regard to charges is based on the belief that the mother has greater responsibility for the well being of a child. This attitude still prevails even as our court system places biologic parenthood equating the rights of the father to those of the mother, while expecting that the mother is solely responsible for the well being of the child regardless of the availability of the father to help with the care.

    Contrast this case with that I have cited from my clinic in which case the father, on returning home from work,  upon seeing that his wife had not returned from her doctor’s visit but had taken off cross country immediately went after her and brought the two back safely.

    At each step of the way, Mr. Rees had alternative choices that he could have made which would have prevented this outcome and yet Ms. Green alone faces murder charges. I would like to say that I am speechless…..but you all know better.

    1. hpierce

      who allowed that to happen knowing that they were responsible according to the plan ?

      “knowing” is one thing… “understanding” is another… being capable of “responsibility” is yet another… given the facts (which have yet to be “tested”), it appears that the only ones who “knew”, “understood” (but that is ‘iffy’), and were “responsible” (also ‘iffy’) for “the plan”, as you posed the question, are the physicians and social workers.

      I have answered your question… when can I expect your answer to mine?

      Forecast for Hades is “warming trend”, so I don’t it expect to freeze over anytime soon… guess I just answered my most recent question…

  2. dlemongello

    Tia’s analogy with “a crime are charged as equals even if only one of them pulled the trigger” is very compelling here.

    And screw the “plan”.  A father has a responsibility, that’s an inherent “plan”.  Who kept pumping the woman with meth who he then still expected to care for their child (and his other kids too)?  There is joint culpability here.  But I do think murder is too strong for what happened.  By overcharging, the prosecution just might lose this case. Or are there other charges on the table that can be held upon verdict if murder does not fly? But again, what is the actual appropriate consequence for this situation?  Is Samantha going to go out and hurt someone else on purpose, I doubt it.  Unfortunately I think she’d go back to the same stupid life she had, for what it’s worth.

    HP, life is not so clear cut as you are trying to make it.  What good will putting her in prison do?  Tell me that.

  3. Tia Will


    when can I expect your answer to mine?”

    We all know that Ms. Green committed these acts. And we all know that there were many, many steps where a different path along the road by different individuals that could have ended in a different outcome.

    So another simple set of questions.

    1. Do you believe in equal rights for parents regardless of gender ?

    2. If so, do you believe that equal rights should be accompanied by equal responsibility ?

    3. If you are willing to give Mr. Rees a relative “pass” for lack of “understanding” then why would you not expect the same “pass” for Ms. Green for her clearly demonstrated lack of “understanding” of her actions at the time she was on the levee ?

    1. hpierce


      1) yes… but many, including another poster, do not… but that may be less gender-related than behavior related… I also believe that “parentage” starts at conception… therefore I believe that the biological father has equal rights to decide if a “product of conception” sees the light of day… so, will question you back… do you believe that a parent, regardless of gender, has equal rights “to choose”?

      2) Yes.  That’s a no brainer, except in the event that one partner’s acts were not agreed upon by the other.  If someone goes off the rails, I’d not hold the other responsible, unless there were clear reasons to believe they were truly ‘complicit’… should we go after the spouses of the guys who hijacked the planes 15 years ago?  I’m thinking, not.

      3) I don’t think Mr Rees should get a pass (how the F did you read that into ANYTHING I’ve written… how dare you, given your past admonitions, try to assume what I’m thinking or believe?).  I do believe that if he does have legal responsibility, he should be treated exactly the same way as the current defendant.  Again you read things into what I wrote.  I sure as hell don’t believe, given the facts in evidence that I’ve seen/read about to date, that the defendant can have a positive defense that she did not “understand”.

      So, since you have presumed to challenge me on what you “presume” to believe, I’ll opine that what you believe is [oh, it would have been “pithy” (if not ‘pissy’), but my ‘better angels’ finished their morning coffee, and I’m listening to their counsel]…

      Have a great weekend Tia…

      1. Tia Will


         I believe that the biological father has equal rights to decide if a “product of conception” sees the light of day… so, will question you back… do you believe that a parent, regardless of gender, has equal rights “to choose”?”

        Two thoughts about this. First, you believe that “parentage” begins at conception. There is an immediate problem here because we never know when conception has occurred until well after the fact. In fact, I have seen many cases in which the fact that conception had occurred was not even known until the woman presented to an Emergency Room with a life threatening hemorrhage from an ectopic or abortion prior to having recognized that she was pregnant since she may not have even missed a period yet. So my answer to you would be,  when men’s lives and health are at equal risk from a pregnancy, then yes, I would give them equal right to choose.

        “I’d not hold the other responsible, unless there were clear reasons to believe they were truly ‘complicit’”
        To me, administering meth is clearly complicity. Perhaps you do not see it that way.

  4. tj

    Tia really laid this issue out clearly.  Rees should be prosecuted for child endangerment.

    But law enforcement and prosecutors are mostly men so they blame the mother.  Men are also inherently/genetically less able to see the big picture.

  5. Tia Will


    I don’t think Mr Rees should get a pass (how the F did you read that into ANYTHING I’ve written… how dare you” 

    I sometimes “dare” a great deal. However, I can point clearly to statements that you have made on previous threads about this case that led me to believe that you hold Ms. Green and only Ms. Green responsible for the death of baby Justice. You stated on one post that comments about the role of social services in this case were ( and I quote) “BS.” You doubled down on this belief with your question to me about who had “possession of the baby” at the time that he died.

    I am not twisting your words, I am taking you at your word that you believe that Ms. Green is solely responsible for the death of the baby. No presumption needed. You have made yourself abundantly clear on this issue.

    I simply see the issue as much larger than who last had “possession”. I see this as the individual failure of Ms. Green. I see it as the individual failure of Mr. Rees. I see it as the failure of the grandparents who had agreed to monitor with specific regard to drug use and yet seem to have been unable to ascertain that a garage with drug paraphernalia just might be an indication of drug use. I see it as a failure of a social service worker to see “warning signs” that should have been apparent. I feel it is a failure of the medical system in which a baby born with meth detectably in his blood and demonstrating obvious signs of withdrawal was discharged home with a mother reported to have been showing signs of drug use in the hospital.

    So many opportunities for prevention. There are no heroes in this case. But however tragic it is, what I do not believe it is is “murder”. And I think that charging it is such will serve no purpose except to chalk up a win for the DAs office if they manage to convict.  Who is served ?  Who is helped?  What possible positive effect for society can a murder conviction serve? And possibly more significantly than all of the rest, why is only one person being charged when clearly at least two were involved in “complicit” criminal behavior  ( the meth ) on the day of the death.

    You have a nice weekend too.


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